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GUAM BASKETBALL LEGENDS SIGNING

Guam’s Mt. Rushmore of basketball gathered at Pika’s Cafe Thursday evening for the official signing to commemorate a life long list of Guam’s basketball achievements and just talk basketball.

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By Robert Balajadia

Guam’s Mt. Rushmore of Basketball gathered at Pika’s Cafe Thursday evening for the official signing to commemorate a life long list of Guam’s basketball achievements and just talk basketball.

The soothing acoustic sounds of Jack Larimer set the tone for the evening as Guam’s best ballers shared a brief stories about what it means to be considered one of the greatest basketball players to ever come out of Guam.

Though the amount of video footage of these legends are lacking, the stories and memories fans have of these men can vouch for just how special each of them were.

Tony “The Helicopter” Susuico

Susuico was the first to reminisce the signing sharing his first time ever shooting a basketball in a hoop made completely of tire wire and a deflated volleyball. Susuico has come a long way and praised his parents and teammates for allowing him to succeed in the sport.

Tony was almost the first person brought up in every conversation of who the best on Guam was.

Susuico told tales of how he managed to sneak in basketball training in his younger days providing the fans in attendance a brief history of how much basketball has changed over the years growing into one of Guam’s most popular sports now-a-days.

Susuico also shared his college experience in being a pioneer for Guam playing basketball at a colegate level.

Joe Taitano

While being recognized for basketball, Taitano’s coaching accolades and accomplishments proved to follow him wherever he goes possibly being considered Guam’s greatest athlete.

Tiatano shared the tales of his training, and Susuico, who was Taitano’s teammate for many years, even chimed in saying that Taitano would run to and from practice.

Taitano related his discovery of basketball much like how Magellan discovered Guam, not knowing where he was. Taitano also credited his wife Christine for enduring the amount of hours he put into training for the sport and allowing it to take him to the height of today.

Joey “The Pretzel” Gogue

Often considered the “Michael Jordan of Guam,” Gogue thanked God before all else.

Gogue was a scoring marvel and he reflected thanking everyone from his wife to his siblings for allowing him achieve success in the sport.

Gogue also gave thanks to all his coaches through out the years that allowed him to do what he did. Gogue was inspired by so many professional athletes that he found himself wanting to play like the greats, not only professionals but the greats of Guam as well.

Little did he know that he would forever surmount a place amongst the greatest basketball players of Guam history.

Chris Fernandez

Fernandez was youngest of the group and last of the four to speak. He was known as the quiet one and let his game speak for himself.

He reflected on those before him praising them, and though he felt he was the least deserving to be honored, he was grateful for the praise and hopes that it inspires the youth to one day be amongst Guam’s best basketball players.

Fernandez thanked his whole family from his parents, siblings, and coach Tony Thompson who helped mold him into the player he eventually became.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Tony Susuico giving thanks and a trip down memory lane.

Tony Susuico giving thanks and a trip down memory lane.

Joe Taitano sharing his memories of basketball growing up.

Joe Taitano sharing his memories of basketball growing up.

Joey Gogue sharing his basketball stories.

Joey Gogue sharing his basketball stories.

Chris Fernandez gives his thanks to his family and coaches.

Chris Fernandez gives his thanks to his family and coaches.

Tony Susuico signing his Mt. Rushmore keepsake.

Tony Susuico signing his Mt. Rushmore keepsake.

Joe Taitano signing his Mt. Rushmore keepsake.

Joe Taitano signing his Mt. Rushmore keepsake.

Chris Fernandez signing his Mt. Rushmore keepsake.

Chris Fernandez signing his Mt. Rushmore keepsake.

Joey Gogue signing his Mt. Rushmore keepsake.

Joey Gogue signing his Mt. Rushmore keepsake.

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